Rivers Workers Lament Cut In Salaries …Seek Governor’s Intervention

Rivers State Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Dr Alpheaus Paul-Worika (left), receiving a cheque from Mr. Akubude Patrick of Noble Drilling Nigeria Limited during the conclusion of investigation of a complaint brought before it by a complainant, Mr Dike Valentine in Port Harcourt last Tuesday Photo: Nwiueh Donatus Ken

Some workers in the Rivers State Civil Service have called on the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to intervene in the persistent cut in the their monthly salaries.
The affected workers who spoke to The Tide in separate interviews expressed worry over the development.
According to James Ugo (not real name), a staff of the State Post-Primary Schools board, for over four months, his salary has witnessed a drastic drop.
He explained that efforts to address the anomaly had so far not yielded any result.
Ugo explained that on a daily basis he shuttles between the ICT office and the state-ministry of finance.
The Tide gathered that officers at the ICT Department always directed affected workers to the Ministry of Finance , yet none has reported any success in addressing their matter.
Further investigations revealed that some of the affected workers have lost confidence in the ability or willingness of the Finance ministry to handle the matter holistically.
Some have even accused staff of the ministry of perpetrating the act,  even as they frowned at the demands made on them to produce certain documents before they are attended to.
“Last week they asked me to bring a bank statement and I did that .”
“Today they  said they do not want bank statement but pay slip of January, 2017, which has not come out , so something is fishy”, he said.
Lending his voice to the development,  a state council member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Amadi Akujobi, berated staff of the ICT Department for negligence.
He explained that so long as workers were placed on a particular salary scale, there was no need for them to be short paid.
“Every ministry, department and agencies generates data and submits same to them (ICT Unit) so on their part they should work accordingly based on the data supplied”, he said.
Akujobi  further explained that  the ICT staff were expected to submit same to the ministry of finance without adding or subtracting any figure.
Akujobi,  who is also the secretary of NUJ at The Tide chapel  called for a complete overhaul of the ICT Department, even as he called for professionalizing the unit.
He disclosed that apart from the most recent cases of salary cut, some workers had complained that since  March, 2016, they have been having these problems. The unionist called on the state governor to look into the matter of salary disparity among workers in the state.
“I am sure he is not aware of these deductions that workers notice in their salaries every month”.
“The ICT people should own up and take the blame because everything about salaries are being processed there and sent to the banks while the finance ministry is just an administrator”, he said.
He further called on staff of the Ministry of Finance to properly inform workers on the development through an enlightenment process, in order to avoid the situation of “come today, come tomorrow”.
On the loss of  man – hours, regarding the issue,  Akujobi, said it cannot be quantified.
“The government is losing because the time you should use to put in your best is being spent to address matters of salaries that have been unduly cut”, he said.
He said the bottomline remained for government to come up with a policy to guide the ICT and Ministry of Finance.